Your child has received his year-end report book and you’re delighted with the results. Does this mean that your child is set for success? Not necessarily.
While home tuition is known to help children bolster their academic performance in Singapore, it is important to meet with your child’s home tutor to assess how well home tuition has been working for your child. It is also an excellent opportunity to express your observations or concerns to the tutor and decide on a plan for the following academic year.
Here are 4 ways to prepare for a meaningful conversation with your home tutor about your child’s academic performance in Singapore:
Gather Feedback and Concerns from Your Child
Although most Singapore students might be shy about giving feedback, it is crucial to gather their concerns as a first step.
First, you’ll want to understand how your child generally feels about home tuition. Ask them what they like or dislike about the tutoring sessions. Would they like to continue the sessions with the tutor next year? Are there any issues to clarify with the home tutor? Try to listen carefully and reason with your child’s feedback. Note down some critical points that you can bring up with the tutor.
Recent research published in neuroscience and cognitive psychology found that students learn best in a safe and supportive environment that fosters a strong sense of security and trust. It is essential that your child feel comfortable and connect well with the tutor. Home tuition in Singapore doesn’t have to be a ‘tug of war’.
Review Your Child’s Tuition Materials and Work
Perhaps you’ve been busy with work and haven’t had the time to sit down and review your child’s tuition materials or worksheets. Try to set some time aside to review them. Take note of specific topics your child did well or needs more help on, and compare the tuition materials with your child’s Singapore school work and examination papers. Did the home tutor cover similar topics in the syllabus, or were the materials too easy or difficult for your child?
Also, note whether the tutor used materials from different resources, not just from the same assessment books. This approach will diversify and deepen your child’s learning and understanding of the topics.
Prepare a List of Questions to Ask and Pre-empt the Home Tutor
Although this is not a common practice for home tuition in Singapore, schedule a parent-teacher meeting with your child’s home tutor.
Prepare a list of questions and points you wish to raise with the tutor so you don’t miss out on anything important. Send a copy of this list to the tutor in advance. This will give the tutor sufficient time to objectively prepare and address each point.
It would be helpful to provide the tutor with a copy of your child’s school report book and feedback from your child’s year-end parent-teacher (PTM) meeting.
During the actual discussion, try to be respectful, open and friendly as possible. Avoid abrasive language like “You didn’t cover this” or “This is too hard for my child.” Instead, reframe the questions in a more positive tone. For example, “Could we please spend more time on topic X next year?” or “I feel that my child is struggling with Chemistry. Can we review his understanding of the basic concepts?”.
Set reasonable goals for the next academic year
If you intend to continue your child’s home tuition with the same tutor next year, it would be helpful to set reasonable goals together for the next academic year in Singapore. This approach will ensure that both parties are on the same page and work towards a common goal.
Discuss goals your child has for next year and how the tutor can help achieve them through concrete steps. Perhaps your child wants to score higher in Mathematics or improve his confidence in oral examinations. If your child wishes to enhance his composition grades, the tutor could start a weekly journal writing exercise with your child.
A good Singapore home tutor can significantly impact your child’s academic performance and future success. Do not be surprised if the tutor understands your child’s studying or personal habits well enough to advise how you can help them at home. Good tutors build a climate of trust with your child to enhance their learning. If the tutor is experienced, they would have also taught enough students to know what strategies work better.
Some parents engage a home tutor because their child requires extra care or attention, whereas some do so to give their children a competitive edge over others. Regardless of your reasons for hiring home tutors in Singapore, your child will benefit significantly from their help.